Saturday, 12 December 2015

Artist talk: Paula Chambers

Paula Chambers is the new head of sculpture on the Fine Art course at LCA, so it was really interesting to hear a new perspective as a sculptor student.
Her work is inspired by her own personal experiences as a woman and a mother, breaking down the stereotypes of women in revealing the taboos of woman and motherhood and the issues faced, such as psychological effects and the pain women go through, which is often brushed under the carpet. Looking at particular cases where women have committed crimes that have been called 'monstrous' but in fact if it was a man they would have been treated differently.
Using different materials that create connotations of the domestic but subverting our perceptions through unusual interventions to question what we see and what we know. Such as the knitted bonnet, which is stereotypical image of motherhood is transformed into an image of pain as she used copper wire instead of wool, a painful process and a physical struggle to complete, she says her hands were covered in cuts by the time she had completed it. For me there is a quiet struggle, something that a lot of new mothers go through.

He later works look at the woman and the domestic, subverting what women are expected to be like, not soft and vulnerable. Using everyday objects that traditional from a distance don't look threatening, but up close small alterations that had deceived the viewer. Images of women from pattern shapes for sowing from the 1950's have been altered slightly, still in their feminine 50's dresses but now holding weapons such as large kitchen knives, rope and blood stains. There is a difference between what is seen of women in the media and presumptions, and the reality behind closed doors.

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